A couple of years ago, She & Him gave us a Christmas record that was a delightful romp through the carols that brought repeated listens to songs you would usually have you avoiding the check-out at Coles. This Yuletide they are giving Santa a wide berth as they instead interpret contemporary songs that can only be described as classics.

These standards have been sung by many before and the doe-eyed Zooey Deschanel and guitarist M Ward don’t try to reinvent the wheel, yet don’t shy away from the elements that make She & Him such a loveable outfit. Deschanel is sounding less like her quirky character from New Girl with each release having a sultry and smooth timbre, while Ward uses his voice sparingly on Classics.

The early Dusty Springfield hit, Stay Awhile, is the obvious single here being amongst the most upbeat and with Ward’s twangy guitar lines is hard to play just the once. Deschanel summons her inner most maudlin housewife to make This Girl’s In Love With You remain a stand out even though it has been recorded by at least 40 artists previously. Unchained Melody is the most ambitious moment that She & Him have attempted vocally over their five albums and could well be a defining moment for them moving forward. It is nothing short of captivating.

She & Him are well past the point where they are looked upon as a part-time endeavour. Classics proves that they have a deft touch no matter what era they venture into.

4 stars